When I lived in Japan, one of the first things that was asked, “do you play golf?”. I remember the first time someone asked me that question I nearly laughed. Uh no, how boring is golf? Almost like watching paint dry. Then the next statement was, “well, you should learn how to play, it’s a great way to bond with the Japanese.” I avoided golf for as long as I could, bonding be damned, until one day there was a mandatory Army fun function at the driving range that was unavoidable. I got out and hit a few balls. Found out it was kind of interesting. Then I tried the 9 hole course the Base had and found out, hmmm I kind of like this game. The next thing I know I was buying “women’s” clubs, shoes and that oh so cute golf skirt. There I was lugging my clubs to and fro. I did like the game. It was more than just hitting the ball. There was a science to the game and that’s what I liked. A challenge. If you’ve played golf before you know that sometimes there are those faster than you and by common courtesy to allow those people to “play through“. There could be many reasons; just trying to get a quick game in, faster or just plain better. Allowing someone to play through is just the nice thing to do. That was years ago, sold are the clubs and the shoes and skirt are at Goodwill.
I realize there is a fine line between having common courtesy and being a push-over when in comes to play through. You know that gray area that determines whether you are a saint or an asshole. There is a lot of teeth sucking that goes on during that decision-making process. Especially when you are hiking or at the gym.
Last weekend I wanted to go hiking and I chose a park that was close by called Great Falls National Park. What a great choice, but it was really crowded. I got to the park around 11am and there was a car line. Not bad, but I was in traffic about 15 mins. Once in, I got lucky with the parking. One of those just happened to be in the right place at the right time. The closer I got to the path I noticed a running race in progress! It was really neat and at first I didn’t really know the flow of the runners or where they were coming from because they seemed to be everywhere. I picked up my map and I decided to take the right path.
The part of the path that is closest to welcome center is the most crowded. There were lots of path’s that went down to the river to overlook sites. I continued to go down the path and it became more rugged, thinner, and fewer people. There were some parts of the path I found myself alone and then a runner would come around the bend. The farther I went down the trail it became only enough for one person to pass. I used the “play through” method if there was a runner or someone faster behind me. See, nice gal. Unfortunately, the favor was not returned. Quite a few times I was behind individuals looking at real estate or trying to recite the chlorophyll process for the surrounding fauna. But, I was patient until I could find a spot and hop around. Further down the path it got to the point of climbing. Anytime there were people coming down the hill…please, play through. Until there was a group of about 50. After about the 20th person playing through, I decided that I would take advantage of a slower gal and trudge up the hill. I got a “well okay” from the bewildered female as if to imply really of which I said, yeah I’m playing through, you don’t mind do you? Further down the path I saw more runners. I began to wonder what type of race they were running. Finally, I blurted out (not wanting to be that guy) what are you running to a passer-by. It’s an Ultra, he said. What!!! Awesome. Bucket list.
There are two parks, one on the Virginia side and one on the Maryland side. I hear the Maryland side isn’t as busy. Maybe I’ll try that one next time. If you’re ever in the DC area, this is a great park and an awesome green space. A couple of shots:
I have joined Planet Fitness for a little over a year now and I have transferred my membership from Phoenix to Alexandria. The gym here is good but I seem to have a problem with the 30 minute work out center. In the middle of all the machines there is a “30” minute workout center. It shines like a bright shiny penny in the sun for those of us that don’t have time to stare at ourselves in the mirror for an hour to get in a quick workout. The concept is simple. There are 20 stations. You are on each station for about 60 seconds and 30 seconds to get to the next station. Now, call me crazy, but you would think this is an easy concept. Mind you, the same machines that are in this center are out on the floor, but for some reason the machines in the 30 minute workout zone attract individuals that are making important business calls or contemplating the price of rice in China. They plant themselves on a machine and proceed to check email, texts, upload their workout to Instagram My Story or just take a nap. I also feel there are a couple of individuals that when I enter the “zone” they come in too, because they know if pisses me off if I can’t play through. They’re just waiting for me to step my Nike’s in… then there they come. My all time favorite is this one gentleman. He’s there every night I’m in the gym. He seems to migrate over to the workout center like a fly to honey. Now, he’s a little different. He goes and works out. No phone. But he is what I like to call a bogarter. What is a bogarter you ask? Well, simple enough it’s a person who stays on one machine for about 30 mins. Kinda like a gym squatter. There is this one machine, an ab machine, that everyone seems to like. I’m not really sure why. It’s okay, but I doubt anybody’s walking out of that place with a six-pack even if they use it for six hours. So, there I was starting my 30 minute workout the other day and in walks the guy. He sees me looking at him. He knows. He knows I’m already getting pissed and I’m only on station 1. He saunters over to station five. Sits for a few rounds until I’m on station 4, I look at him. He knows. He moves. I continue. He’s now at station 17. I get to station 16. I give him my “get moving look”. He knows. He moves. Finally, he walks over to the last station. The ab machine. I’m continuing on with my workout. I’m at station 19. The whole time I’m doing my machine I’m wondering…is he going to move. And sure enough….he becomes….the bogart. He knows.
Now, I’m waiting. I’ll wait one workout revolution. He still is on the machine. Now I start the gym stare down. He refuses to look my way. He knows…I’m looking at him. I continue to look until he turns my way. I mouth the words, “are you done?” Then, he acts like he doesn’t understand me. He starts to speak Spanish. Oh yeah, two can play at that game. I start pointing to the clock. The universal sign that means, time to move. Then I say do you mind if I play through? Again, acts like he doesn’t hear me. Again I use sign language, get up off the seat. Finally he moves. Checkmate, 40 minute workout done.
This weekend I finally got my bike into the shop and took it out for a spin. I went out to the Mount Vernon trail that I have been on a few times now hiking. There is a nice improved path for bikes, walkers and runners. I thought that the trial went 8 miles one way but it seemed to go on forever. I cut it off at the 8 mile mark one way and was able to get in a great 16.76 mile ride. A few pics from my ride:
My miles for the last two weeks came to 49.45 taking me to 5981.26 miles gratefully remaining. I hope this post finds you well. Happy Miles to You!!
I think this is the perfect video for that guy.